Obesity and Disability


Lately I’ve been reading a lot of anti-thin blogs and posts.  It seems awesome and amazing that so many people come together to revel in the greatness of body diversity.  Their message they send is that any size can be healthy.  We know this is true, especially if you look at the US female weight lifter contender, Holley Mangold.

Holley Mangold US Weightlifting Olympic Competitor

However, there is a difference between being obese and a very active individual who eats healthy and an obese individual who does none of those things.  Just as anti-body diversity campaigns can send a bad message so can these campaigns.  It is unrealistic to expect severely obese individuals with little to no activity and bad eating habits to be healthy.

Having a no nonsense attitude about health is essential in today’s living.  We need to take emotion out of it and look at is another activity that we do in the day.  If we have a bowel movement we don’t cry over it, so why is being healthy such a hard factor?

I believe it is because of how hectic our lives have become.  Both parents work and have no time for cooking and other self health activities when they are running their kids around.  Isn’t it more important to be there for your kids? Doesn’t that mean by staying alive? And Doesn’t staying alive equate to a healthy lifestyle?

Nobody is saying to go run a half marathon, but what we are saying is to be realistic.

I also understand about body image.  Growing up I was the ugly chubby girl.  It’s ok for me to say that.  I don’t have self esteem issues, I’m just logical and realistic.  Let me paint the picture for you.  I was chubby, with huge glasses, poor with no good clothes and they all fit very unwell, an afro (I have naturally kinky curly hair), bad skin, spaces in my teeth, and had Asperger’s.  I mean could I get ANYMORE awkward?  lol of course I could and I did, but absolutely was there never a time that I believed being overweight was ok.  I’m not stupid so I knew I wasn’t built like my friend Tara with her thin frame, but I still didn’t want to be so overweight.  I was always very active and was outside most of the time.  My frame just didn’t fit skinny.  It still doesn’t fit skinny.  The skinniest I ever was was in college.  My mom kept promising me for years that I would lose my babyweight….btw…I’m STILL waiting to lose my babyweight!  

Here is a picture of me at close to my thinnest around 125lbs.  This was graduate day from college…my daughter was 9 months old.  

Me (I’m on the right) with my sorority sister on my graduation day from college..Selena was around 9 months old.

I thought i was huge…crazy isn’t it when you go back and view yourself.  You could slap the crap out of yourself ya know?  

Here is a picture of me and my best friend since kindergarten…around april of 2009….after 2 kids…not so bad…

Me (on the right) and my bestie on the left…..in dallas

In the top picture I was around 140-145….maybe during bad times of the month 150

Me in June of 2010 in the Dominican Republic

By the time I got to the Dominican Republic I weighed a bit less, I worked out about 6 days a week for about 30-40 minutes a day.

THEN I moved to Lexington KY to pursue my dream of a PhD.  It was hard maintaining my health and in fact in the first 3 months I gained ten lbs, by the two years end (I’ve just started my 3rd year) I’ve gained a total of 30 lbs.  As a single mom I had to give something up right? Well, I gave up part of my health.  The first year here I had no real home and stayed with a few friends over time and because I had such little income and no court ordered child support they couldn’t rent to me.  Apartment homes were the worse…I would just go in and talk to them and they would turn me down.  From there I think I hit a depression.  Depression effects everything especially your weight.  I desperately needed a stable home for me and my kids.  I had to pay off all of my bills before I could get a home so my debt to income ratio was nothing.  It took a year, but I did it with careful planning.  It’s helped too having a stable home and not jumping around.  It’s also helped that I’ve finished my first two years of classes.  However, I haven’t lost the weight like I thought I would…..it’s definitely not easy.  

So here is me recently just in April.  

Me and the kids at the beach in Cali

So here in this picture I’m 30lbs heavier and have definitely lost all of my muscle tone due to 2 years of no exercise.  I couldn’t walk up one flight of stairs at my weight, I couldn’t imagine weighing 100lbs more.  This is more of like a size 10-12, which is embarrassing to me…I don’t like it.  Yes, I’m very hard on myself, but I can do better and when I know I can I should.  

So in the bikini picture weighing 140 for my height I’m considered obese.  Yep, completely I’m only barely 5ft.  How then can I be a size 4/6 at 140 lbs?  It’s my muscle to fat ratio.  One lb of muscle weighs the same as a lb of fat, but takes up a percentage of the space.  You can check out the picture below.  

Speaks for itself

So, the last couple of months I’ve been slowly getting myself back into exercising and eating healthy.  Here are some of the ways I’ve managed to not lose weight, but feel better and become healthy again…..please remember…I honestly have not lost one pound, but I am much more healthy.

I started out by making a few sets of goals: short term goals, long term goals, on scale goals, off scale goals.

Lets start with the ugly then we will get to the bad then finally the good.

The Raw Ugly Deal: On Scale Goal

                         Well, no getting around it at some point I have to lose the weight that I gained.  However, I’m trying to be realistic.  It took me two years to put it on, it’s going to take that or more to take it off.  So, 30 lbs in 2 years is my goal or 15 lbs in a year.  That’s a little over a lb a month.  Right now after 2 months I haven’t lost any weight.  Another goal in this department was to stop staring at the damn scale.  I put the scale away and only weigh once a month and have been doing this since May.  The first of every month I step on, look at myself and step off.  Then go on with my life, it’s just a number baby, just a number.

The Bad Deal: Off-scale Goal

                       Another health goal is to be able to jog 6 miles outside without stopping for a breather..so far I’m up to 4.  That’s right…I’m back to groovin baby.  It’s taken me a long time to get to this point and it hasn’t been easy.  I have to clear about an hr to jog the 4 miles, but I’m close to 10 minutes a mile now outside up and down hills so that isn’t bad.  Another off scale goal is to lose inches…October 1st will be the first time I measure myself bc remember the fat vs muscle thing!!!!  Another off scale goal is to get back to weight lifting and become as strong as I use to be and maybe surpass my other levels.

The Good Deal: Short Term Goals

                         A short term goal that I have is to feel more comfortable in my clothes and to fit in some of my older clothes.  I want to feel sexy again…I want to feel like I’m a woman and not a lump of biscuits!!!!  Another short term goal is to compete in 6 5K’s.  yep, six of them.  Why? That’s my favorite number……

The Good Deal: Long Term Goals

                        My main long term goals is to surpass where I was at when I as 30 and in the Dominican Republic.  I also want to become more spiritually healthy and a better mom.  I want to be so well rounded and healthy that my children are proud of me at all times.  We all have room for improvement….

So then you have to wonder with my lack of time how do I complete any of these goals? The answer is by making our family health the priority.  Look at the statistics for obesity in disabled individuals.  

The only way to inspire health in others is for you yourself to be healthy.  Telling myself that weighing 300lbs and having no activity level and no healthy eating lifestyle is fine is fooling myself.  I don’t want to be a fool for the sake of my pride.

I don’t want my children to be one of these statistics…I want them to be healthy all around.  I HAVE to make health and exercise a priority…meaning I have to get our butts out of the house and onto doing healthy stuff!!!

Having pride in who you are as a person is far greater than having pride in yourself physically, but I want to be here for my children as they age and the only way to do that is to be healthy.  

It is hard in today’s age isn’t it to eat healthy?  You can exercise in your home for free..by walking outside in parks or just walking in place in your room.  Doing crossfit at home and so on..you don’t need a gym membership to be healthy, but food well that’s a different story.  My cousin writes an extreme coupon blog….

http://brewingdaily.blogspot.com/

I’m always amazed at how much money she saves.  This is one of my next projects out there as well.  We need to make sure that choose better foods to feed ourselves, but with the cost of food just skyrocketing we have to make do with what we have.  This means being careful with what we eat and how much we eat.  This also means drinking more water, which is my downfall.  I drink my calories lately……THAT is one thing I will be changing slowly.

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day meaning that its going to take time to let go of the fat and enjoy the healthy you…..we need to do this for our children with disabilities.  Nobody is going to take care of our kids better than us..so make sure you stick around to see them grow old.  

~LenaJeanne

Forgetting your reservations is a start to healthy living! Celebrate a healthy lifestyle by living without reservations.

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2 thoughts on “Obesity and Disability

  1. I have always thought you were just about as perfect physically as a woman could be! 🙂 ALWAYS been jealous of that – but as a woman and mostly mother – I totally understand wanting to be healthier for myself and my children. I have worked SOOOO hard with Cash for him to eat healthier and not be such a “snacker” unless it’s fruits, veggies or low sugar/high protein options. I don’t want to have to say, “but mom you don’t!”. Thanks for the plug cousin!

    • Thanks dear! Naw I’ve been close to 200 around 180 before..these are just the only pictures I have. I never allowed pictures to be taken during that time, it was when I was emotionally downtrodden living with my ex. YEARS ago……

      We need to do a few food blogs together about healthy choices and couponing…..

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